yields 12 servings (1 cup each)
1 package (16 ounces) ziti or small tube pasta
3 cups (24 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
3 cups half-and-half cream
1 cup milk
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup crumbled cooked bacon, divided
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 400°. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, place cottage cheese in a food processor; cover and process until smooth. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and garlic salt until smooth. Gradually add cream and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened.
Drain macaroni; transfer to a large bowl. Add cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, white sauce and 3/4 cup bacon; toss to coat. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. (Dish will be full.) Melt remaining butter. Add bread crumbs; toss to coat. Sprinkle over casserole.
Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining bacon. Bake 5 minutes or until bubbly.
bacon recipe source: Taste of Home (@tasteofhome), Fall 2009, p. 43